Delphi Programming Guide
Delphi Programmer 

Menu  Table of contents

Part I - Foundations
  Chapter 1 – Delphi 7 and Its IDE
  Chapter 2 – The Delphi Programming Language
  Chapter 3 – The Run-Time Library
  Chapter 4 – Core Library classes
  Chapter 5 – Visual Controls
  Chapter 6 – Building the User Interface
  Chapter 7 – Working with Forms
Part II - Delphi Object-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 8 – The Architecture of Delphi Applications
  Chapter 9 – Writing Delphi Components
  Chapter 10 – Libraries and Packages
  Chapter 11 – Modeling and OOP Programming (with ModelMaker)
  Chapter 12 – From COM to COM+
Part III - Delphi Database-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 13 – Delphi's Database Architecture
  Chapter 14 – Client/Server with dbExpress
  Chapter 15 – Working with ADO
  Chapter 16 – Multitier DataSnap Applications
  Chapter 17 – Writing Database Components
  Chapter 18 – Reporting with Rave
Part IV - Delphi, the Internet, and a .NET Preview
  Chapter 19 – Internet Programming: Sockets and Indy
  Chapter 20 – Web Programming with WebBroker and WebSnap
  Chapter 21 – Web Programming with IntraWeb
  Chapter 22 – Using XML Technologies
  Chapter 23 – Web Services and SOAP
  Chapter 24 – The Microsoft .NET Architecture from the Delphi Perspective
  Chapter 25 – Delphi for .NET Preview: The Language and the RTL
  Appendix A – Extra Delphi Tools by the Author
  Appendix B – Extra Delphi Tools from Other Sources
  Appendix C – Free Companion Books on Delphi
  List of Figures    
  List of tables    
  List of Listings    
  List of Sidebars  

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Chapter 2: The Delphi Programming Language


The Delphi development environment is based on an object-oriented extension of the Pascal programming language known as Object Pascal. Recently, Borland stated its intention to refer to the language as "the Delphi language," probably because the company wants to be able to say that Kylix uses the Delphi language and because Borland will provide the Delphi language on the Microsoft .NET platform. Due to years of habit, I'll use the two names interchangeably.

Most modern programming languages support object-oriented programming (OOP). OOP languages are based on three fundamental concepts: encapsulation (usually implemented with classes), inheritance, and polymorphism (or late binding). Although you can write Delphi code without understanding the core features of its language, you won't be able to master this environment until you fully understand the programming language.


Due to space constraints and to the fact that the language hasn't changed much in recent years, in this chapter you'll find only a very fast-paced introduction to the language. You can read the more detailed description found in past editions of the book in the material available on my website (see Appendix C, "Free Companion Books on Delphi," for details). This material also includes Essential Pascal, a complete introduction to the standard Pascal language.

The following topics are covered in this chapter:

  • Classes and objects

  • Encapsulation: private and public

  • Using properties

  • Constructors

  • Objects and memory

  • Inheritance

  • Virtual methods and polymorphism

  • Type-safe down-casting (run-time type information)

  • Interfaces

  • Working with exceptions

  • Class references

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